With Title 42 set to expire at the end of the day Thursday, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice said they have finalized a new rule to "incentivize individuals to use lawful, safe, and orderly pathways to enter the United States."
The new rule says that it presumes those who enter the U.S. illegally are ineligible for asylum and allows for them to be immediately removed if they cannot demonstrate a "reasonable fear of persecution or torture in the country of removal." The new rule says that asylum seekers can make these claims only under "exceptionally compelling circumstances."
The new system places some reliance on a mobile app called CBP One to allow asylum seekers a time to schedule a border cross to seek permission to enter the U.S.
The new rule also places a five-year ban on reentry.
Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas said that the new rules are being implemented "within the constraints of a broken immigration system that Congress has not fixed for more than two decades."
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The pandemic-era Title 42 put in place by then-President Donald Trump was intended to stop the spread of COVID-19. In the years since, asylum seekers have generally been required to wait in Mexico.
Homeland Security said it has quickly removed several million asylum seekers due to Title 42. If not for the rule, asylum seekers would be allowed to remain in the U.S. until given a court hearing to rule on the merits of their request.
"Let me be clear, the lifting of the Title 42 public health order does not mean our border is open. In fact, it is the contrary," Mayorkas said.
The new rules are being blasted by both Republicans who say they don’t go far enough, and immigration advocates who say they go too far.
SEE MORE: What is being done to manage migrant spike after Title 42 ends?
"President Biden just ushered in a new period of immense suffering for people already enduring violence and persecution," said Jonathan Blazer, director of border strategies at the ACLU. "He has closed off the possibility of asylum in the United States to the majority of people seeking safety — in contradiction with our nation’s laws and values. In doing so, he is finishing Trump’s job rather than fulfilling his own campaign promises. This is a somber day for our country and for refugees in desperate search of safety, but the fight is far from over."
"Actions speak louder than words. Title 42 expires tomorrow night and the Biden admin is focused on processing migrants into the country faster. President Biden's priorities are clear, and sadly, border security is not one of them," Republicans on the House Homeland Security Committee tweeted.
Mayorkas said authorities are surging 1,000 officials to the border to conduct screenings.
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